As a designer or a jeweler, it is quite likely that you believe that each product in your collection stands for itself. Whether it’s a necklace or bracelet, a watch or earrings, the minute a customer sees it online or in-store, you want them to fall in love with it immediately. Most likely, you are hoping to achieve an instant spark that stops them in their tracks, takes their breath away and has them thinking “This is it?!” Continue Reading
One of my favorite things is to showcase our client projects. This year, I started working with JA New York, one of Emerald Exposition’s amazing accessories shows. We’ve been creating awesome content for them, this is the latest piece by one of my amazing writers Laura Kudia. What started as an app for millennials to send racy “snaps” to each other is now one of the most powerful social media networks for fine jewelers to target a key consumer demographic. Continue Reading
Apothecary has made a comeback in recent years as the old practice was revived by modern makers in order to support the combination of fragrances and scents in a wide array of products we use at home. As apothecary rose, aromachology began to take a back seat in the scent design of the things we use in our everyday lives. The art of scent of was lost, and the journey that came with it disappeared. Continue Reading
Can 10 billion tech aware products elevate the customer retail experience in just three years?
In April, Avery Dennison Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS), a global leader in apparel and footwear branding, packaging, labeling, and RFID solutions, formed a partnership with IoT pioneering the Smart Products Platform EVRYTHNG. The goal of this partnership is to revolutionize the retail store experience by allowing customers to interact with apparel and footwear products.
In order to better understand the customer experience journey today, Avery Dennison RBIS and EVRYTHNG shared their best practices at the DECODED Fashion Summit on how retailers can unlock value found in the Internet of Things (IoT) and how ‘connectivity’ itself is the new material designers must work with to create beautiful product designs amplified by meaningful consumer experiences. In an age where the customer is king, here are three ways retailers and brands can capitalize on their experiential needs through IoT:
Integrate Technology into The Manufacturing Process
Before a garment or accessory is created, designers should look for the opportunity to infuse technology into the products they create from the beginning. “Digital is design material that enables you to bring your brand to life,” said Kim Schneider, senior director, Technology Solutions, at Avery Dennison RBIS. “When designers are thinking about where to start, many tend to start with specific technology and force the chosen technology into the objectives they are trying to achieve.” Schneider feels that there is a more holistic choice for designing with technology. She recommends that a designer:
- Start with a clear understanding of their customer and then a vision of their product. The designer should then combine with what they are hoping to achieve, with both.
- Once a designer decides what they want to achieve, they then must align the technology that is the best fit for their customer and what they are making.
- By doing so, the designer can articulate that vision to technology partners that can help them achieve their goals.
A great example of this process is Avery Dennsion’s recent collaboration with jewelry designer Sarah Angold. The partnership involved the creation of four pieces of smart jewelry that featured RFID technology and information powered by the Janela Smart Product Platform. “Technology is absolutely integral to our practice,” shared designer Sarah Angold. “Collaborating with Avery Dennison was a critical step in keeping our designs relevant today. We worked together on laser cutting and 3D printing, experimented with conductivity and collaboratively tested at every single stage. The results were fantastic and the pieces took smart tech accessory design from concept to reality.”
Integrate Yourself into Customers’ Digital Lives
Imagine that once a product is created, your customer can walk into a store and have it literally speak to them. Can you imagine the reaction when a particular item is picked up and product information relevant to their lifestyle is instantly received? In less than a minute, the customer has a vivid picture in their mind of how that product is going to work in their day-to-day life. They can choose to purchase it or find something more conducive to the way they live.
In successfully connecting with our customers in this way, it is important to educate to the technology’s presence and use. If the consumer is not aware of the embedded technology, he or she doesn’t have an opportunity to digitally engage with it. “Digital should be treated as an additional layer of opportunity to communicate one-on-one with consumers to provide valuable information and interaction that can evolve with new technology and their changing needs,” says Andy Hobsbawm, Co-Founder and CMO, EVRYTHNG.
The demand for products that integrate digitally into the everyday lives of consumers continues to accelerate. As retail stores become increasingly connected by digital means, brands must become cognizant of ways to incorporate technology into their products in physical world settings.
— Avery Dennison RBIS (@AvyDenRBIS) October 28, 2016
Bridget Digital and Real World Touch Points
The retail industry has been rolling out new digital shopping tools and connected commerce innovations to keep improving each piece of the connected, omnichannel shopping journey. The advancements in mobile behavior, overlaid with technology (iBeacon, Near Field Communications (NFC), RFID, apps) have allowed mobile to become a bridge to taking online to a real world environment. And by integrating technology into a store environment, the traditional processes of retail design, selling and merchandising have been completely disrupted.
Retailers have not had to shift their thinking on how the item is really “displayed” in decades. “The physical and digital worlds are converging, and consumers expect to be connected seamlessly across all aspects of their lives,” said Francisco Melo, vice president and general manager, Global RFID, Avery Dennison. “RFID technology provides endless opportunities for interactive experiences in the retail environment taking this to the next level by embedding the technology into the product itself.” It is important to remember that the ‘built store environment’ is only one part of a wider ‘retail Landscape’ that is underpinned by mobile behavior and strong stable technological foundation in-store.
— Avery Dennison RBIS (@AvyDenRBIS) October 31, 2016
“The new opportunity with the smartphones that almost all consumers are carrying around in their pockets is that they also contain the communications infrastructure for the Internet of Things: sensors, connectivity, and the mobile web,” says Hobsbawm. “Non-electronic products like clothing and apparel (rather than just smart home appliances or consumer electronics devices), can also be given dynamic connected intelligence, on a serialized per-item level, to help bridge the world of atoms and bits in store.”
In the end, retailers should focus on transacting based on culture, experiences, and relationships. By enhancing experiences based on continually evolving customer values, sales are a natural result. Integrated physical and digital strategies that understand the whole shopping journey and customer experience allows for scalability and enables us to achieve a brand’s ultimate goals with all products that are #BornDigital.
Information on how to market to Millennials can be found everywhere, but what about Baby Boomers? The Baby Boomer generation – people born between 1946 and 1964 – had been the focus of major sales strategies for decades, but as technology advanced, that focus has shifted to Millennials and Gen Y. However, as social media matures, the focus is shifting back to Baby Boomers, a group with a sizable disposable income. Continue Reading
February’s most dynamic seminar was given by Jeremy Bergstein, co-founder of retail innovation firm, The Science Project. Their successes for clients, including Kate Spade, Gucci, Barney’s and Bloomingdales, come from their practice’s idea of “the theater of retail.” In his presentation, Bergstein guided seminar attendees through fascinating behavioral and emotional states, as well as interactive forces impacting the future of retail. The Science Project’s outlook on how retailers can successfully leverage technology in-store is very simple: interact, delight, entertain; give your customers a reason to shop. Continue Reading
In December, Apartment Therapy published a post called “Rugged and Stylish: Gifts for the Lumbersexual.” The post was populated with brands like LL Bean, Danner and Filson; cementing the fact that, for men, heritage is still king. While the trend has clearly been gaining momentum for the better part of half a decade, it seems to be reaching an apex online and in creative new, and established, retail spaces that are entrenched in the ethos of days gone by. These shops with outposts in LA, Seattle, Del Mar, CA and Philadelphia suburbs, and soon in North Dakota, are reviving and reimagining the idea of the general store. Let’s take a look at where this model came from and why it is making an impact on communities and in the retail space. Continue Reading